Kristina Hamilton to Lead Policy Efforts to End Lung Disease in Illinois

Lung Association names advocacy director to head lung health policy

The American Lung Association in Illinois today announced that Kristina Hamilton will lead local and state policy initiatives as advocacy director.

In her new role, Hamilton will champion all Lung Association initiatives to support laws, rules and policies to improve lung health, reduce tobacco use and clean up pollution in the air we breathe. In Illinois, she will work to add e-cigarettes into the Smokefree Illinois Act, protect funding for tobacco prevention programs and expand funding for asthma programs.

“Influencing public policy, through legislation and regulation, at all levels of government is key to achieving our mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease," said Kristen Young, executive director of the Lung Association. "Kristina’s diverse experience in policy work, as well as her deep knowledge of the mission of the Lung Association, will help us make real change to improve the health of people in Illinois.”

For the last two years, Hamilton was the manager of government relations at Adtalem Global Education, a leading workforce solutions provider that operated several educational institutions, including medical, nursing and veterinary schools. Prior to that, she worked at the Lung Association from 2012-2018, where she implemented multiple community health and public policy initiatives, including working with the Illinois General Assembly to raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. Hamilton fills the role left vacant by Kathy Drea, who led the Lung Association's advocacy efforts in the region for more than 20 years. Drea retired earlier this year.

“Between the COVID-19 global pandemic, the rise in youth vaping and the threat of climate change, there is a tremendous amount of work to do to protect our lung health,” said Hamilton. “I am eager to work with city, county and state lawmakers to improve lung health and access to healthcare for all.”

Hamilton earned her bachelor’s degree in history and African American studies at the University of Virginia and her master’s degree in health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

For more information, contact:

Jill Thompson
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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